Associations between low literacy and health status measures

Cross-sectional analyses of two physical activity trials

Anita A. Bhat, Darren A. Dewalt, Catherine R. Zimmer, Bruce J. Fried, Pavani Rangachari, Yoonho Seol, Leigh F. Callahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Arthritis researchers have thoroughly documented a powerful relationship between years of education and health outcomes, but they have not documented the role of literacy. The authors examined the associations between literacy and arthritis health status measures. Participants were recruited from southeastern urban and rural areas. Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine, which provides an estimate of reading level in less than 3 minutes, was administered to 447 participants at baseline in 2 community-based randomized controlled trials of lifestyle interventions designed for aging sedentary adults with arthritis. Those who read below ninth grade were considered to have low literacy. Among the 447 study participants, the median sample age was 69 years. A majority of the participants were women (86%), Caucasian (80%), overweight or obese (72%). Of all participants, 20% had low literacy. Significantly more African Americans (54%) than Caucasians (12%) had low literacy levels (p<.001). Individuals with low literacy did not have significantly worse disability or arthritis symptoms than individuals with adequate literacy (all ps>.05). Among our study participants, 1 in 5 had low literacy, but literacy was not associated with health status in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-245
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012

Fingerprint

Health Status
health status
Cross-Sectional Studies
literacy
Health
Exercise
Arthritis
Medicine
Caucasian
Aging of materials
Education
Literacy
Health Education
African Americans
Life Style
Reading
urban area
rural area
Randomized Controlled Trials
school grade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences

Cite this

Associations between low literacy and health status measures : Cross-sectional analyses of two physical activity trials. / Bhat, Anita A.; Dewalt, Darren A.; Zimmer, Catherine R.; Fried, Bruce J.; Rangachari, Pavani; Seol, Yoonho; Callahan, Leigh F.

In: Journal of Health Communication, Vol. 17, No. 2, 01.02.2012, p. 230-245.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bhat, Anita A. ; Dewalt, Darren A. ; Zimmer, Catherine R. ; Fried, Bruce J. ; Rangachari, Pavani ; Seol, Yoonho ; Callahan, Leigh F. / Associations between low literacy and health status measures : Cross-sectional analyses of two physical activity trials. In: Journal of Health Communication. 2012 ; Vol. 17, No. 2. pp. 230-245.
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